Is your computer making you sick?

[@portabletext/react] Unknown block type "bannerAd", specify a component for it in the `components.types` prop

Have you ever heard the term, “wired and tired?”

Even if you’re not familiar with the phrase, odds are you’ve experienced it. The dry, weary eyes after staring at your desktop for too long. The brain melt that comes after watching too much television. The head and neck aches and even the nausea that comes after too much computer use.

Yes, most of us know the physical and mental fatigue all too well that comes from using our computers, TVs, tablets and phones for hours on end. According to a report by The Vision Council, more than 90% of American adults spend two or more hours per day in front of some sort of screen, nearly 60% spend five or more hours, and 30% said they look at screens more than nine hours per day.

It’s understandable — digital devices have become a critical part of our productivity and quality of life. But what is this really costing us?

Electronic screens aren’t just leaving us wired and tired, they’re affecting our health in a very real and very damaging way. Here’s how.

Blue light

Most digital screens are backlit and emit blue light, or high-energy visible (HEV) light wavelengths. Research has shown that overexposure to this light can contribute to eyestrain and discomfort, and even lead to more serious conditions later on such as macular degeneration.

Blue light has also been shown to suppress melatonin — the sleep hormone — desynchronizing the body clock and causing an artificial feeling of wakefulness. And this can lead to a number of other complications, such as hormone imbalance, depression, and even brain inflammation.

The cortisol hormone

The cortisol hormone helps the body manage stressful situations by increasing blood sugar levels and reducing the response of the immune system. But research has shown that prolonged use of electronic devices can overstimulate your cortisol production — which can have notable effects on the brain. Excess cortisol levels can not only weaken your ability to control stress, but can actually cause your brain to shrink, which compromises your ability to concentrate, make decisions, sound judgments and interact socially.

Problems for children

Many children are hooked on television and electronics. In fact, most American children spend about 3 hours a day watching TV. And when you factor in computers, tablets and gaming devices, that number climbs to about 5 to 7 hours a day.

Because children are much more sensitive and malleable than many realize, it doesn’t take much electronic stimulation to take its toll on their still-developing minds and bodies. And the ever-increasing screen time has been shown to lead to sleep, mood, and cognitive issues including:

  • Sensory overload
  • Lack of restorative sleep
  • Hyper-aroused nervous system
  • Depressive states
  • Reduced physical activity levels
  • Fractured attention span
  • Depleted mental reserves
  • Desensitized brain reward system
  • Stunted emotional development
Insulin levels

In a study of nearly 500 sixteen year olds, those who spent more than two hours a day using computers and other digital devices had higher insulin levels than those who spent less time in front of the screen.

Insulin plays a critical role in your metabolism and your blood sugar levels. When insulin becomes too high for too long, the cells of your body start to ignore it, and your body becomes less and less effective at absorbing glucose and producing energy. This means that most of what you eat will be converted into fat, and your body begins to accumulate more of that fat in your liver. Other signs and symptoms of chronically elevated insulin include abdominal obesity, elevated blood sugar, acne, hair loss and high blood pressure.

Header image © Gaudilab / Shutterstock

Health

Energy and focus supplements to improve your life

We all want to live a life of happiness, fulfillment and success. It’s human nature to want to be the best version of ourselves, but many of us lose focus and get sidetracked by irrelevancies and things that don’t matter. Instead of focusing on things that won’t move us closer to our goals, we need […]

Health

Healthy aging supplements

Do you want to live well as you age? For most people, the answer is a resounding “yes!” Health and vitality in our older years can mean more energy to pursue our passions, create cherished family memories and give back to causes that matter to us. With the right lifestyle choices and habits – like […]

Health

Is your body ready for illness?

The best defense is a good offense — this is true in every aspect of life, from sports to business to relationships. Creating the healthy habits necessary to keep your body functioning at optimal levels is part of building an extraordinary life, allowing you to maintain a strong and optimized immune system when environmental or […]

Health

Support hormonal balance with DHEA supplements

To live an extraordinary life, it’s crucial to prioritize self-care and maintain a healthy body through proper nutrition and attention to physical wellness, which will allow your body to perform at its best. In order to fully nourish your body, you can’t always rely solely on the food you eat. Supplementing with high-quality, nutrient-dense products […]

Health

Guide to omega-3 supplements

If you keep up with health developments, you’ve likely come across information about omega-3 fatty acids. This advantageous supplement reportedly offers a range of benefits, including cell growth support, muscle activity, and heart health. So what’s the scoop about omega-3 supplements? While research on the topic is still ongoing, it’s becoming increasingly clear that these […]

Health

Guide to liver supplements

Have you ever used an air or water purifier? By filtering the elements you take in, you eliminate harmful particles and toxins from your body. Just like air conditioners, vacuum cleaners, and other devices have filters, your body has its own filtering system. Your liver filters your body’s entire blood supply and is involved in […]

  • Change your story

    Master Tony’s proven strategies to create endless momentum and change the trajectory of your life.

    View upcoming events
  • Become the best version of yourself

    Connect with like-minded individuals and start living the life of your dreams.

    View all programs